Living Wise

17 Little-Known Facts About American Independence and Independence Day [List]

July 4th is America's Independence Day. But did you know July 2 is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence?

Here are some more little-known facts about American Independence and our Independence Day:

  1. Every 4th of July the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped (not actually rung) thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies
  2. Approximately 150 million hot dogs and 700 million pounds of chicken are consumed on this day
  3. In 1776, there were 2.5 million people living in the new nation. Today the population of the U.S.A. is 316 million
  4. The White House held its first 4th July party in 1801
  5. The first Independence Day celebration took place in Philadelphia on July 8, 1776. This was also the day that the Declaration of Independence was first read in public after people were summoned by the ringing of the Liberty Bell
  6. The stars on the original American flag were in a circle so all the Colonies would appear equal.
  7. Only John Hancock actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776
  8. Tune of the National Anthem was originally used by an English drinking song called "to Anacreon in Heaven."  (
  9. The American Revolutionary War lasted for eight years – between April 1775 to September 1783
  10. During the war, African-American slaves served on both sides of the war. The British offered freedom to slaves who escaped their masters and served with loyalist forces
  11. America's oldest continuous Independence Day celebration is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol on Rhode Island. This year it will celebrate its 235th year
  12. Almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence, in 1870, July 4 was made an official holiday by Congress
  13. Americans Were Taller Than The British (the average Brit was 5'5", while Americans were 3" taller on average!)
  14. Americans Had A Higher Literacy Rate Than The British (Great Britain's literacy rate was around 40% while New England's rate was around 70%)
  15. Americans Drank . . . A Lot (today's American drinks 2.3 gallons of alcohol a year, back then Americans drank 34 gallons of beer a year on average!)
  16. Nova Scotia Could Have Been Considered The 14th Colony (Back then, Nova Scotia was British North America - a group of emissaries went to see George Washington to plea for him to invade Nova Scotia)
  17. Thomas Jefferson Consumed Opium Habitually (Opium was used as an anti-diarrhea remedy, something from which he suffered)

There you have it!  A short list of 17 little-known facts about American Independence for you to share with others on this 4th of July.

Happy birthday, America!

- The staff of GRE Property Management -